Your child is able to:
- developed the “I experience” to the point that the child is beginning to make verbal contact with other children.
- pronounce g-k-ch sounds (will development)
- pronounce s-sch-st (intellectual development)
- dress self
- go for a walk, uninterrupted, without having to stop to look at every little stone
- use the toilet independently
- last four hours without needing a nap
- physically healthy
- immune system strong enough that child is not vulnerable to ‘class exposure’
- developing sense of time
- imitate spontaneously
- recognize danger
- tolerate many other children
- play with other children
- refrain from fighting with another child
There is an independence or even boldness to the child that is kindergarten ready, and both parents and teachers simply know and agree that the child is ready. It is recommended that it be a mutual, unanimous decision between the parents and teachers because they share in the responsibility for supporting the child’s health in the first seven years.
A child three-years-old and younger seems to be wrapped in a cloak that is weaved fully with the soul life of his/her mother and family. This cloak protects the child from the world. If one brings such a child into a classroom, within three weeks this covering rips open and a plucked, featherless little bird is left shivering, alone in the cold. This can happen even if the child visits a classroom on an hourly basis and simply removing the child from the classroom does not repair the cloak. This unveiling of the protective covering occurs naturally between three-and-a-half and four-years-old. Only after this natural process can a child truly be ready. It should be emphasized that this paper does not consider the needs of the other family members.
The entering of a child into school is a crucial moment in child development. The experience can be stressful for the child and parents. How the child feels, not how the child behaves should be the determining factor in the parent separating from the child. To support the development of a positive attitude toward school the child should not be forced into accepting separation, leaving before the child feels ready to separate is counterproductive. What matters is that the child has a positive inner nourishment to sustain him or her while at school. If the child is anxious about starting school but forced to separate, the child may well respond by turning to maladaptive forms of soothing, such as depression, disruptive behavior, hanging on to a blanket, or withdrawing. If the parent grants the child’s request and remains at school for a few hours or days, the child may be better able to soothe anxiety by relying on the parent’s presence and the positive intimacy it brings. In addition, just the knowledge that the parent will not leave before the child is ready will do wonders for the child’s self-confidence. By the time the child is willing to let the parent go, the child will have created positive bridges into the new environment, such as budding friendships, interesting activities, and nurturing relationships with the teachers. The guideline is-parents should remain at school as long as their child feels the need for them to be there. Given that most children will have fifteen years of school before graduation from high school, a week or two is a small investment in getting a child off to a good start.